FROM THE ESTATE OF LEONA AND HARRY HELMSLEY, SCARCE ASSOCIATION COPY OF THE 1983 FACSIMILE EDITION OF THE 14TH-CENTURY SARAJEVO HAGGADAH, WITH 34 PAGES OF COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS
JUDAICA. Sarajevo Haggadah (Facsimile). Beograd / Sarajevo: Prosveta / Svjetlost, 1983. Quarto, original brown paper boards, original dust jacket, original slipcase. $750.
First edition of the 1983 facsimile of the original illuminated 14th-century Sarajevo Haggadah manuscript, held as the oldest known Sephardic Haggadah, a scarce association copy from the estate of Leona and Harry Helmsley, with a Passover 1986 gift inscription to them from an unidentified presenter, featuring 34 pages of beautiful full-color illustrations.
This exquisite 1983 full-color facsimile edition of the original illuminated 14th-century Sarajevo Haggadah manuscript is from the collection of Leona and Harry Helmsley, and contains a gift inscription to both dated “Passover 1986” by an unknown presenter. The original manuscript, anonymously crafted in Barcelona, Spain, is held as the oldest known Sephardic Haggadah. Believed to have been removed from Spain during the Inquisition, “the illuminated Sarajevo Haggadah is kept in the National Museum of Sarajevo; it was acquired by the Museum (then, the Landesmuseum) in 1895 for 100 florins” (Encyclopaedia Judaica). The manuscript was hidden from the Nazis and also survived the Bosnian War. This handsome edition captures the original manuscript’s 34 pages of brilliantly hued illustrations and its elegant calligraphy. Also present is evidence of wine-stained leaves that, in the original, pay tribute to the manuscript’s presence at Passover seders. “Nothing less than the Jewish experience and conception of history are celebrated here, in that orchestration of symbol, ritual and recital for which the Haggadah provides the score” (Yerushalmi, 15).
A fine association copy in the original slipcase.